Hearing Loss: Symptoms, Causes, And Treatments - Newport Paper House

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Hearing Loss: Symptoms, Causes, And Treatments

 

It’s hard to enjoy your life when you have an issue with one or more of your senses. Hearing loss is one of the most common issues that people develop and it prevents them from living life to the fullest. As you age, it’s common to develop hearing loss. The symptoms can include not being able to hear the conversations properly, having difficulty understanding words, hearing muffled sounds, and turning up the TV to hear better. And there are some ways to prevent and treat hearing loss, like turning down the loud music, being away from speakers, and wearing hearing aids.

Let’s dive more into the symptoms, causes, and treatment of hearing loss to understand how it affects your life and what kind of actions you need to take.

Symptoms

Hearing loss symptoms depend on some factors, such as the type of hearing loss, its severity, cause, etc. Commonly, those who have hearing loss can have symptoms like the following:

      Speech and other sounds are muffled.

      When there is a background noise, you have difficulty in understanding words.

      Consonants are difficult to hear.

      Birdsong is no longer heard or is heard once in a while.

      You ask people to speak more loudly and slowly.

      Increase the volume of radio or TV to hear better.

      Have trouble communicating.

      You avoid social situations that once were pleasant.

      Feel overwhelmed or tired after listening to a lot of people.

      Increased communication problems in noisy environments such as family gatherings, restaurants, cafes, group meetings, friend gatherings, etc.

      If you have tinnitus, it can cause buzzing, ringing in the ears.

Causes

Now it’s time to understand what causes people to develop hearing loss. Let’s see some of the most common causes:

      Inner ear damage — The nerve cells or hairs in the cochlea that convey sound impulses to the brain may wear out as a result of aging or exposure to intense noise. When you damage these nerve cells or hairs, the electrical signals aren’t transmitted and you develop hearing loss. As a result, you may find it challenging to distinguish words over the background noise.

      Earwax buildup — Earwax builds up over time. Earwax can clog the ear canal, preventing sound waves from reaching the brain. The removal of earwax can help you regain your hearing.

      Broken eardrum — Sudden pressure fluctuations, loud noises, infection, and poking your eardrum with a sharp object can become the reason for a ruptured eardrum and can cause hearing loss.

Types of Hearing Loss

Let’s get acquainted with the common types of hearing loss:

      Sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL) — This is one of the most prevalent types. SNHL occurs when there is an inner ear injury and problems in the neural pathways to the brain. It can result from aging, head trauma, exposure to loud noises, viruses, Meniere’s disease, heredity, etc.

      Conductive hearing loss — Hearing loss caused by problems with the eardrum, ear canal, or middle ear and its small bones is known as conductive hearing loss. It can result from malformation of the middle ear structure, ear infection, fluids in the middle ear, allergies, infection in the ear canal, earwax buildup, otosclerosis, etc.

      Mixed hearing loss — When a person has both sensorineural and conductive hearing loss, they are said to have mixed hearing loss.

Treatments

Hearing loss can drastically reduce your quality of life. Some people endure feelings of isolation as a result of their hearing loss, which makes communication more difficult.

Commonly hearing loss is not curable. But there are some ways of treatments; before choosing an option, you need to consider the factors mentioned below:

      Hearing loss severity

      Hearing loss type

      Age

      Your lifestyle and habits

      Causes

      Budget, etc.

 

The most frequent way to treat hearing loss is using hearing aids. Some types of hearing loss, particularly conductive hearing loss, can be treated surgically or medically, but others can't. Hearing aids, when fitted appropriately, are the general treatment for sensorineural hearing loss. Hearing aids come in a variety of shapes, sizes, colors, prices and technology levels. Hearing aids can help you with more than just hearing; they can also improve your overall health.

Prevention

If you want to prevent noise-induced and age-related hearing loss from worsening:

      Avoid loud sounds – Over time, loud noises can injure the nerves in the ears, causing hearing loss. Avoid listening to music at high levels and being in a noisy and crowded environment for a long time. Reduce the intensity and duration of your exposure to loud sounds. You can walk away from loudspeakers and give your ears a rest for 20 minutes after being in crowded places. When you go to cafes, choose quiet areas and in concerts take seats that are far from speakers. You can wear ear protection, like earplugs, earmuffs which can keep your hearing and prevent ringing in your ears. Use noise-canceling headphones and reduce the volume of music, pay attention to the warning of your devices (they show when sound is too loud), and reduce the volume of TV or radio.

      Test your hearing frequently — Especially if you work in crowded places, it’s recommended to check your hearing regularly. Early detection of hearing loss can help you take particular measures to prevent the development. If your hearing loss is severe enough, you should consider getting a hearing aid. How to understand that you have a hearing loss?

      When you keep asking your friend to repeat a statement so you can understand what they're saying.

      When you are unable to hear sounds such as a phone call, ringing, etc.

      When communication becomes difficult.

      When sounds are muffled.

      When you constantly turn up the volume on the television.

 

 

      Stop smoking — Another reason to quit smoking is that smokers have a higher risk to develop hearing loss.

      Ensure your ears aren’t wet — When water becomes trapped in your ear canal, bacteria proliferate. It can cause infections, hurt your ears, or make them itchy.

      Deal with stress — Managing stress is not only helpful for your hearing but also your overall health.

      Remove earwax buildup — Using an at-home watering kit, soften the wax and wash it away, or go to a doctor to remove earwax.

These were the symptoms, causes, and prevention tips for you. Stay healthy and hear well!

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